Designing A Future For Arkansas Wildlife
 AWAP in the News
 Executive Summary
 Wildlife Action Plan
 Project Reports
 Legislative History


Explore Arkansas



AWAP in the News

Publication:Arkansas Outdoors;   Date:July 22, 2009;        
AGFC, other agencies restore portions of Grand Prairie at Stuttgart airport

STUTTGART - Stuttgart takes pride in something beyond ducks and rice. A grassland restoration project, funded through AGFC and other agencies, aims to return portions of the Grand Prairie to its former glory. More.

Publication:Arkansas Wildlife Date:January-February 2008;   Page Number:28    
Wetlands Project Under Way at Clinton Center

LITTLE ROCK – As wetlands shrink across the country, former President Bill Clinton and Little Rock City Director Dean Kumpuris announced plans to create 13 acres along the Arkansas River. More.

Publication:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Date:Oct 24, 2007; Section:Arkansas; Page Number:11    
13 acres to become wetlands park
Clinton divulges plans for land near his LR presidential complex
By Matthew S. L. Cate Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LITTLE ROCK – Former President Clinton on Tuesday helped detail plans for a Little Rock wetlands park near his library complex, an addition he described as an environmental and educational treasure. More.

Publication:Arkansas Outdoors; Date:Oct 24, 2007;    
Clinton, Kumpuris kick off wetlands project
by Keith Stephens, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK – As wetlands shrink across the country, former President Bill Clinton and Little Rock City Director Dean Kumpuris announced plans to create 13 acres along the Arkansas River. More.

Publication:Arkansas Times; Date:Oct 23, 2007; City News Release;      
President Clinton Joins Friends & Family Of Late Bill Clark To Unveil Plans For Wetlands Restoration
Project Will Be Lasting Memorial to Little Rock Civic Leader

LITTLE ROCK – Surrounded by family and friends of the late civic leader William E. “Bill” Clark, President Bill Clinton and Little Rock City Director Dean Kumpuris today unveiled the plans for the thirteen (13) acre William E. Clark Presidential Park Wetlands Project, which will be a lasting memorial to the Little Rock businessman, philanthropist, and outdoorsman who died earlier this year. More.

Publication:Arkansas Outdoors; Date:Jan 24, 2007;  
USFWS director gives final approval of Arkansas wildlife action plan
by Keith Stephens, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Last week, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dale Hall, approved the Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan put together by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and several partners. Arkansas' plan was one of nine states or territories approved by the USFWS.

The Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan is a systematic state-wide look at wildlife and the actions needed to ensure their survival. The action plan will also allow states and territories to continue to receive grants under the State Wildlife Grant program created under bipartisan legislation signed by President Bush in 2001. Since then, the Fish and Wildlife Service has provided more than $4.2 million in grants to Arkansas for its conservation efforts.

AGFC deputy director David Goad said that there are 369 species of animals in Arkansas listed by the agency as warranting concern for their existence. "This money will be used to prevent these species from disappearing in Arkansas. It will be used for both habitat work on the ground as well as monitoring that work," Goad said. Amphibians such as the Ozark Hellbender, birds such as the Ivory-billed woodpecker, fish such as the Yellowcheek Darter and paddlefish as well as many insects and invertebrates now have a funding mechanism in place to improve their chances of survival.

Congress required states and territories to have their individual wildlife action plans submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by October 2005. The in-depth approval process was managed by a team of eight Service biologists and five state wildlife administrators, who sent their recommendations for final approval to the USFWS. The other eight plans that have been approved are: American Samoa, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Massachusetts and Ohio.

Together with the other 56 action plans, the Arkansas plan, establishes a coordinated strategy to proactively help all wildlife species on a landscape, habitat-based scale. In the past, most of the states and territories have had great success in managing game species. This new program will help fund expansion of Arkansas' conservation work to include all wildlife species and natural areas, clean air and fresh water they need to survive.

A few projects that are ongoing in Arkansas include: habitat change related to fish and other wildlife for the Arkansas and White rivers, black bear surveys, bat monitoring and a passerine bird study.

Each states’ or territories’ plan must contain information on low and declining populations of wildlife and the habitats they require, identify problems that affect these populations, identify research and survey efforts to improve their conservation efforts, determine actions and priorities. Once the state plans have been approved, agencies will revise and update their plans at least once every 10 years.

Publication:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Date:Jan 22, 2007; Section:Arkansas; Page Number:7    
With grant, backwater will be wildlife magnet
Federal money sought to restore LR wetland
By Katherine Marks Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A neglected backwater along the Arkansas River just yards from the bustling River Market that became a repository for trash such as lost tennis balls and discarded coffee cups will soon draw great blue herons, bobcats and other wildlife, city and state officials say.

The 9-acre parcel between the Interstate 30 bridge and the Clinton presidential library is a relic of the Arkansas River navigation project some four decades ago — sand dredged from the river bottom that took on a life of its own. Today, oak trees and alligator weed dot the landscape and a storm drain empties into it.

At a cost of roughly $1.7 million, the city and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission want to model the area after wetlands in nearby spots along the river that are covered in native sedges and smaller plants and are flush with wildlife. The job will involve rechanneling the area and planting native trees and grasses and eventually adding lighting and elevated trails.

This is a great opportunity to take a piece of real estate that got left behind,” said Mark Webre, deputy director of Little Rock Parks and Recreation, during a Jan. 3 tour of the area a short way from a commission nature center that’s under construction.

The city and the commission are seeking federal money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant program to help pay for the project, which is billed as the “Little Rock City Park Wetlands Project” though the land is technically a man-made wetland. Work on the project could start shortly after the service makes a decision about the grant, which is expected this summer.

There are good examples of landscape we’ll model after right along the river,” Webre said citing areas near Murray Park.

That’s exactly what we want,” Webre said, pointing to a hawk perched in a tree on the river’s edge. “To enhance this type of environment. This is part of our home. We want to nurture it.”

He and others said the area will help teach Arkansans of the natural beauty that can be found even in urban settings.

At-large City Director Dean Kumpuris said he sees the area as a budding wildlife corridor along the Arkansas River stretching from the Peabody Little Rock hotel to the presidential library.

“This is an area that has got some great possibilities for teaching people what it’s like to be in Arkansas,” Kumpuris said. He envisions tourists, school children, birdwatchers and others visiting the area.

“We want to create a working wetland. ... It’s a great addition for the city,” said David Goad, deputy director of the commission.

Arkansas typically gets about $500,000 a year through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant program. The commission is responsible for allocating the money, which can’t be used for education, and those who apply for the grants have to match them. The projects must focus on nongame species “in greatest need of conservation.”

While the commission has set aside the bulk of its 2006 funding from the federal program for the project, the proposal still must be approved by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The commission used the remainder of its funds, about $100,000, to complete a federally mandated wildlife action plan that it must have to continue receiving money under the plan. Goad said the commission didn’t have the resources to finish the plan and administer grants in the same year. It is reviewing applications for its 2007 allocation from the federal program that it will forward to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final approval later this year.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $980,000, with $400,000 coming from the federal grant and the remainder from Little Rock, grant application documents supplied by the commission show.

Little Rock’s portion for the project will come from private donations and grants, which have yet to be raised. The city is in talks with several parties and several commitments have been received, said Bryan Day, assistant city manager.

Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for the William J. Clinton Foundation, said the foundation “is committed to the project and is working to finalize a reasonable investment in the project.”

The first phase would involve moving dirt and rechanneling the basin between the riverbank and the wetland area at an estimated cost of $655,000, and purchasing, planting and maintaining native plants at a cost of $280,000. Buying and installing bat boxes would cost $45,000.

Trails, elevated walkways and lighting are planned for later phases — all the access would be limited Webre said — along with interpretive displays and trash receptacles around the existing storm drain. The city plans to pick up the $755,000 cost of the later phases.

The snowy egret, green heron and great blue heron are among the birds expected to flock to the area, the application states. The mammals expected to take up residence in the area are southeastern and free-tailed bats, red foxes, rabbits and bobcats.

Plants found on other sandbars and islands in the Arkansas River will be used in the project.

Fish such as the alligator gar, paddlefish and white and black crappie, and dozens of species of mussels, amphibians and reptiles, are also expected to benefit.

The birds and fish should be natural predators of mosquitos and other insects in the area, Webre said, adding that no specific measures will be enacted to keep mosquitos at bay.

Webre said the city will have to figure out how to intercept at least some of the litter before it reaches the wetlands area. It’s unclear how long the restoration project will take, he said. The time frame will depend in part on whether the city will use a contractor or its own staff to do the work.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN Little Rock and state officials have plans to restore a 9-acre parcel along the Arkansas River between the Interstate 30 bridge and the Clinton Presidential Center as a city park wetlands project.

Conserving Arkansas Wildlife
Announcements | AWAP in the News | Executive Summary | Wildlife Action Plan
Database | Ecoregions |
Grants | Legislative History | Resources | Partners | Home

© 2005 Designing A Future For Arkansas Wildlife All Rights Reserved